Restaurant review: Taqueria El Rey

24 04 2016

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El Rey is small Mexican taqueria in Southern Helsinki. Restaurant was opened about a year ago and today is so popular that table reservation is required.

Menu is short consisting of starters, tacos, 1 enchilada and dessert. In Mexican restaurant one can of course enjoy tequila and even mezcal. Wines are not not main thing in Mexican cuisine, only house red and white available.

If you have not tasted Mexican food before, it might make sense to order tasting menu La Reyna, which includes 6 different goodies from the menu.

For starters had:

Guacamole fresh avocados, tomato, onion, chilli & coriander. Served in a traditional molcajete with home made tortilla
A large serving enough for sharing.  The taste was fresh, and the consistency, thick with some pieces of avocado in it.  Perfect as a topping for the tortilla chips, and add some salsa for an even better taste.
Chips are made in the restaurant, so you do not have to eat those supermarket nachos which are served in tex-mex restaurants
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Sopesitos de Chorizo 3 small market corn sopes, topped with smashed beans, chorizo, lettuce, crème fraîche and queso fresco
Excellent combination, spicy and greasy taste of chorizo crowned the dish. With salsas one of the best Mexican restaurants starters in Helsinki.
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For main courses had:

Gringa de Pastor 3 big flour tortilla tacos made of spit-grilled pork meat marinated in a combination of dried chillies & grilled cheese. Served with pineapple salsa

Portion was big but amount of pork was not sufficient. It was difficult to find pieces of pork but the quntity of pine apple salsa was overwhelming.
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Enchiladas verdes 3 corn tortilla enchiladas in green chilli sauce filled with beans served with red cabbage

Not meant to be a vegan dish, but they were nice and tried to give a good version of the dish.  Beans replaced the chicken, but some lettuce and tomatoes could have been added.  Too much of the tomatillo slasa made the tortillas a bit soggy.  The red cabbage was a strange topping for a Mexican dish.
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Beer suits often better with Mexican food but wine lover always has to try wine list. although it was the shortest ever seen.  Red house wine was from Argentinean Bodega Norton.
Wine was red in color, sweet and spacious aromas reminding of black pepper. Fruity on the palate, with sweet and harmonious tannins. Paired well with dishes eaten.
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Taqueria focus is on authentic tacos. This was also noticed by local newspaper Nyt, as it gave El Rey best points for Cochinita Pibil taco of reviewed Helsinki taco restaurants.
Starters were perfect. Portions are big and prices affordable, bottle of wine was only 29 euros. Some improvement for main courses and it would be easy to give 4 points for food.
Service was professional but maybe little bit timid. However, waiters had time to explain what dishes consist although place was full of hungry customers.
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REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

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7 responses

4 11 2016
Suvi

Ooh your post has me craving their food, I love it!

25 04 2016
Cheap Wine Curious

Wow! That looks fantastic and very authentic coming from a Californian. Thanks for sharing and curious to know if you tried the Mezcal or any Tequilas. I’m in a start-up liquor company and we source, create and sell Mexican spirits. Our biggest customer so far is in the Netherlands. Maybe Findland next? Great post, cheers! 🍷😘

25 04 2016
reijosfood

Hi! Tequila is available in most of the restaurants and bars but Mezcal I saw first time. Did not try them this time but at Patrona had Marqarita a week ago.

25 04 2016
Cheap Wine Curious

We have a very smooth delightful one and considering building our markets in Europe vs. US as it’s just starting to grow there and US is already crowded. I saw a menu in NYC with 26 Mezcals! 🍷😘

25 04 2016
reijosfood

Finland alcohol regulation, as well as in Sweden, is protective. Consumers can buy wines and spirits only from government owned retail -chain (monopoly). Restaurants can buy directly from importers but tax is anyway high.

25 04 2016
Cheap Wine Curious

Interesting, thx for the insight!

25 04 2016
Cheap Wine Curious

Wow! That looks fantastic and very authentic coming from a Californian. Thanks for sharing and curious to know if you tried the Mezcal or any Tequilas. I’m a partner in a start up liquor company and our biggest customer so far is in the Netherlands…the guac looked perfect. Cheers!

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